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ComReg warns businesses of increase in phone hacking

In one phone hacking case, a company had calls to the value of over €250,000 made through its phones.

THE COMMUNICATIONS REGULATOR has warned that businesses are at risk of being hacked and could lose thousands over Christmas.

In the last four months, there have been 12 cases of phone hacking reported to ComReg by operators. This is of particular concern over the holidays when many businesses will be closed and might not notice their phones making thousands of international calls automatically.

In one recent case of hacking, calls to the value of €90,000 were made without the knowledge of the customer.

In another phone hacking case, a company had calls to the value of over €250,000 made through its phones. While ComReg was able to intervene, the company was still liable for over €100,000 to its operator.

If not properly protected, business phones can be dialled into and calls can be made through the system without the knowledge of the business.

What can you do?

To ensure that your phone does not get hacked, have strong passwords on all phone extensions. If access to premium rate calls or international calls are not required from your phones ask your operator if those numbers can be barred.

If your business uses a third party to maintain the phone systems consider disabling the remote access and only enable it when you need agreed work done.

If your phone is hacked you should ask your operator to contact ComReg urgently and report the matter to the Gardaí.

Read: Transport, texts and telecommuting: The week in numbers >

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